Last Wednesday I was on a panel at the Creative Futures conference, discussing how sustainability and provenance are back on the agenda in fashion. The conference was hosted by WGSN, the fashion forecasting people who play a hugely important role in the fashion industry. It was thrilling to see a sustainable and ethical production thread run through the day with contributions from Orsola De Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution Day, and a keynote interview with Adam Derry, Creative Director at Ekocycle closing the day. The audience included directors and creative heads from global brands like Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Burberry.
It is an exciting time for the fashion industry and I believe the fashion industry can play an important role in pioneering the sustainable economy.
Rana Sidahmed, creative director at Avery Dennison RBIS with myself and panel host Patrick Burgoyne, editor at Creative Review.
Below are some of the key things I want to share from the day.
The sustainable revolution has begun
I had a long chat with Rana Sidahmed, creative director at Avery Dennison RBIS.
Avery Dennison RBIS produce creative and sustainable branding solutions, such as embellishments, packaging and labels, for some of the largest apparel brands and retailers across the globe - as well as some key emerging designers such as Christopher Raeburn.
The business is showing that quality, cost efficient products can be produced in a sustainable way. For example Avery have developed care labels and woven labels made from recycled plastic bottles and are the first in the industry to offer FSC board (Forest Stewardship Council) at a cost neutral price.
Avery Dennison RBIS are helping early movers like Christopher Raeburn, award winning sustainable designer, complete a fully sustainable supply chain from garment fabric to swing tag. At the same time they are helping global brands take their first steps into sustainable production and begin the journey of transforming their businesses into the companies of the future where sustainability is embedded in all products and processes.
Luxury must return to its roots
Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, talked about true luxury in the most captivating way and questioned the current form of luxury.
Luxury, she said, has always been about special pieces, crafted with pride, dignity and care. However the luxury sector have forgotten their founding principles and turned a process of manual craft into a chain of faceless mass production.
In today’s market where products with stories and narratives stand out, it is surely time for luxury to return to its roots.
Towards the end of the day I had a conversation that reminded me that creating a fairer and more socially conscious fashion industry matters deeply.
The conversation was with Tori Tomlin, a chirpy Geordie with a mind that could cut glass. She’s Global Apparel Product Manager at Pure Fishing and has visited many factories around the world.
Tori told me she’s been to factories that she wanted to leave quickly, and others where there were smiles on people’s faces where she would linger. A simple statement that was a clear reminder that the way our clothes are made affects people’s day-to-day realities profoundly.